The Muslim Brothers Take Over Egypt

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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We don’t hear much anymore the breathless celebrations of Egyptian democracy that followed our abandonment of the creepy but reliable Hosni Mubarak. The “Facebook kids” who enchanted our media with their tech-savvy cool have been forgotten. It’s hard to find anymore the optimism of Senator Joseph Lieberman, who in Foreign Affairs called the Arab Spring a struggle for “democracy, dignity, economic opportunity, and involvement in the modern world.” Events in Egypt every day reveal that shortsighted enthusiasm to be singularly lacking in prudence, and almost delusional in its naïve understanding of genuine democracy. But our government continues to pretend that the Muslim Brothers running the show are democrats whose interests can align with ours.

As each day passes, the Muslim Brothers are consolidating their power and shaping a government that looks less and less like a liberal democracy. President Mohammed Morsi has removed a major check on his power, Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. He was the leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which had been running Egypt since Mubarak was ousted last February, and which countered the influence of the Islamists. Also sacked were his fellow council members, the acting chiefs of Egypt’s military branches. Morsi then annulled SCAF’s constitutional declarations that had kept Morsi from exercising legislative power. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, the Muslim Brothers’ Morsi “now theoretically holds all the formal political power in the Arab world’s largest country. He can legislate, nominate members of the constitutional drafting committee, set foreign policy, and apparently shuffle the senior ranks of the military at will.”

Around the same time, Morsi went after newspapers that weren’t following the Muslim Brothers’ line. Editions of Al-Dustour, one of the few newspapers not run by the government, were removed from newsstands for “fueling sedition” and “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law,” according to Egypt’s official news agency. This follows the shutting down of a television network, el-Faraeen, and the Muslim Brothers-dominated parliament’s move to replace the editors of the state-run newspapers.

Finally, just a few days ago Morsi targeted the Egyptian judiciary, seeking to limit the courts’ power and remove anti-Islamist judges. The president of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, pointed out the obvious intent behind Morsi’s actions: “These are monopolistic plans. The Brotherhood wants to control all aspects of the state.” The next step will be the drafting of a new constitution that will further emasculate the Supreme Constitutional Court, which has been an obstacle to the Muslim Brothers since Mubarak’s fall.

Of course, no one familiar with the Muslim Brothers’ aim to institute shari’a law in Egypt and, in the words of Muslim Brothers founder Hassan al Banna, to see “the Islamic banner . . . wave supreme over the human race,” will be surprised. Yet for the Obama administration, the mechanics of democratic elections trump the noxious ideology manipulating the machinery. Hence Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s message to Morsi is that the United States is eager to “support the democratically elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt.” Clinton shows no awareness that the “results” the Muslim Brothers and their millions of supporters want to deliver are unlikely to be those compatible with liberal democracy and human rights. Similarly myopic is the invitation to the White House issued to a member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya, a notorious Egyptian terrorist outfit. State Department flack Victoria Nuland explained the visit by saying, “We have an interest in engaging a broad cross-section of Egyptians who are seeking to peacefully shape Egypt’s future.” Like her boss, Nuland seems oblivious to the sort of “future” the Muslim Brothers and other jihadists have in mind. She too should listen to al Banna, who wrote, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate not to be dominated, to impose its laws on all nations, and extend its power to the entire planet.”

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  • J Meas

    MB has taken over the White House and no one has noticed. I'm not complaining, just observing.

    • Choi

      YOU ARE NOT COMPLAINING,but "observing"?
      WHY AREN'T YOU COMPLAINING?AND,IT IS NOTICED!
      Nov.6th is COMING!

    • Asher

      Plenty of people have noticed and they know who Hussein Obama really is. WE never bought the Democracy rhetoric either…we knew that Obama was helping the Muslim Brotherhood at every turn who do not represent Democracy!

  • Mullah Assassin

    Exactly my thoughts. Geez, how damn blind and naive is the American president? He actually thinks this is genuine democracy. I'd call this new phenomenon in Arab Spring countries "One Way Democracy", because after an election, the Islamists solidify their gain and creep towards undemocratic ends.

    • Looking4Sanity

      I don't know what you think democracy is. Democracy is majority rule…in other words, MOB RULE. Don't take my word for it. Look it up!
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democra

      Hosni Mubarak was the only thing keeping a lid on these whack-a-doodles, and now he's gone and Egypt has it's democracy. Israel can add one more country to it's enemies list. Islam is a cancer on the planet and it is spreading unchecked. Prognosis? Terminal.

      • worfman7139

        We DO NOT have a democracy.. We have a representative republic

        • Looking4Sanity

          Actually, if you mean the United States by “we”, we have a Constitutional Republic.

      • giatny

        The United States is NOT NOT NOT a democracy. It is a
        REPUBLIC. You should look it up.

        • Looking4Sanity

          Show me where I said that it was. And…you're telling me this because you think I don't know? Please. Buy a clue.

    • Mullah be Damned

      The President is not naive. He WANTS the Brotherhood in charge. He's a radical islamist.

      • Kufar Dawg

        Don't smear the POTUS that way! He could merely be on the take!

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      He is not naive at all. He is well trained in Alinsky tactics.

  • Jerry

    The president is not blind, he knows exactly what is happening. It was his administration that coordinated the 'Arab Spring.' One cannot help but wonder what he has planned for America, but I suggest you read John Daniels book, 'THE COMING: A TRUE STORY OF HORROR' @ amazon. Here's the link .http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-True-Story-Horror/dp/1469955652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345213911&sr=8-1&keywords=the+coming+a+true+story+of+horror

    • WildJew

      You beat me to it. Obama is not blind to Muslim Brotherhood aims.

      • ★FALCON★

        This Arab Spring is simply #OccupyMuslims. The One Percent Theocracy.

      • Looking4Sanity

        He's one of them.

    • Don Simmons

      Jerry, You are right. I have said this for some time. They want to take over Our country too. We are the greatest country on this planet and they want to control it. Obama is not paying attention to this. He is one himself. He grew up this way. This will be harder on the females because they are considered the weaker one and will be controled. It should be interesteing for women like the "View" if the muslims take over, they will be controled. I never thought I'd see this comming. I wonder if they really know what Muslims expect out of their women?

  • PaulRevereNow

    Impeach Obama and jail Hilary Clinton; tomorrow…today if you can.

    • Looking4Sanity

      November the 6th is right around the corner. We should regain some national sanity then, regardless of all the liberal beard pulling and teeth gnashing.

      Don't forget to vote out your Democrat Congress critters!

  • Snorbak

    Not sure if anyone else has noticed the parallel however, Morsi's rise to power has some very distinct similarities to Adolf Hitlers rise.
    Promote yourself as someone the common citizen can relate to & tell them what they want to hear, get elected via popular vote then consolidate your power by removing any & all obstacles that may be a threat to your position ie; removing unfriendly judiciary, diplomatic staff & military leaders, shut down any media source deemed to be a threat, quietly crush dissent & ultimately amend the constitution.

    The difference is that Morsi is doing it with a smile & courting his enemies & now we hear reports that Egypt is moving Anti Armour & Anti Air batteries into the Sinai close to Israels border, maybe ive had my head in the sand but I was not aware of any recognized terror groups operating heavy armor or attack aircraft necessitating the deployment such weapons. This is a brazen but calculated move.

    When diplomacy fails, wars begin

    • Looking4Sanity

      And when wars begin, Israel wins! That's why Israel gave back the Sinai. They knew they could take it back again any time they felt like it. I think a thinning of the Sharia herd is imminent.

      • Kufar Dawg

        If Israel needs any volunteers I'd gladly go.

      • Snorbak

        If you believe the bible, as I do, than the future looks very bleak indeed for Israels most prominent enemies, Egypt, Syria, The Palestinians, Hamas & Hezbollah et al.

    • Nat marshall

      It is bad that we must go though this because of some bad voters in the past that don't have a clue to what is going on. This is why we are in the condition we are.

  • Freedom4All

    It amazes me that any homosexual or woman would vote for Obama. The Islamists he is supporting would torture and kill all homosexuals and reduce women to little more than chattel. Yet this man appears to have the support of a majority of these two groups.

    • Asher

      Once again, Hussein is using the Gay groups to further his agenda, then once he gets what he wants..its adios to those who helped him, especially if they aren't muslims…same goes for Democrats, and other groups who really are stupid about how Sharia Law works!

      • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

        It amazes me that any woman, homosexual, jew, asian, latino, black/african, poor person, arab, non-christian, or environmentalist would vote for ANY republican. Oh wait, THEY DON'T. :P

        There's a reason why the republicans/christians are called the "American Taliban". Islam is horrendous, but there are barely a million of them here in America. There are over 50 million of you slavering christian fruitcakes seeking to take us back to the 7th century exactly like the muslims would.

        I will keep an eye on islam, watching for it's inevitable 'stealth jihad' of violence and duplicity. It's too bad though, that I can't keep both of my eyes on islam because the other is watching the 'stealth crusade' from the christians/republicans.

    • Thomas

      It is so interesting. The gays think that Muslims will love them and some do, for a while. They they will get rid of them. I feel for our women that we need to protect as men . The women that want to control the world or those that want their voices herd will be laughed at by the Muslims. The look at the females as being the week ones and treat them like slaves.

  • http://iamiranaware.wordpress.com/ IranAware

    Morsi is smiling because as soon as Syria falls, he knows who will be in charge and the sights can be then set on Jordan. This will ultimately be Clinton and Obamas legacy, surrendering Africa to the Islamists…

  • Schlomotion

    Mohammed Morsi is the dreaded new Muslim Brotherhood dictator of Egypt. The evidence is clearly the dreaded finger wag.

    Finger wagging is one of the notoriously menacing postures of the extremist. See as follows:

    1) The Netanyahu Finger Wag: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/

    2) The Dershowitz Finger Wag: https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:AN

    3) And the even more dreaded Abe Foxman kitty cat scratch: http://balder.org/judea/billeder-judea/Abraham-Fo

    • Mo Schlotion

      What color is Abe Foxman's cat? Is it nice?

    • Kufar Dawg

      Why don't you take your finger, stick it where the sun don't shine and swivel on it?

  • NewNan

    As soon as Murbarak fell I wrote on my FB page, Egypt is no friend to America. If anyone thinks a peddler lit himself on fire as a protest to the Government control over his life ignited the Arab Spring then propaganda is very much alive and well. He may have been the catalyst but it was the dupe, FB owner, Zuckerberg who helped unite the protest across the Middle East. Facebook has become a powerful tool, too powerful under the control of only one man. Plans are afoot to take that control away from Zuckerberg. If Syria falls the rest of the Middle East will follow as Morsi has already iniciated contact with the Saudi Kings. The remaining question will be Iran. If Obama stays in power a Middle East Union will exist. Right now, Turkey is poised to take a piece of Syria but deals are yet to be made. The well-funded rebels in Syria are a mixed lot as in Egypt. Can the Muslim Brotherhood broker a deal with Turkey and Iran amongst the rebel forces? Will Iran throw Basaad under the bus as everyone must agree, he must go? Will Iran risk the break-up of the signed Triad Pact Between Iran, Syria and Venuezela? The November Elections will tell us which way the wind will blow as Obama is no friend to Israel. Right now I am not worried about Israel attacking Iran, as the propaganda in the media would have us believe but, more if Egypt and Iran will attack Israel. Will Egypt provoke retaliation from Israel with border skirmishes? We all know how Hitler instigated border attacks so he could declare war on Poland. The politics and propaganda never change just the faces of the players in the game.

  • AntiSharia

    What a shock. Scorpions have to sting, and Nazis have to get rid of anyone who disagrees with them. It's only going to get worse, because the military, the courts, and the press will just roll over and play dead, just like they did in Germany in the 1930's.

    • Kufar Dawg

      The zero and Hitlary are champing at the bit to begin rounding up the critics of their regime.

    • Mr Sanity

      The difference between Egypt and Germany of the 30′s is that the Germans were far more creative and productive at creating the tools of war. Egypt can only produce the manpower in abundance, and relies on the rest of the world to provide the tools to implement warfare -and this would likely dry up rapidly once they start any attacks. They may have enough to take the fight to one country, but alomst every country that they would want to attack has more than enough capability to counter their offensives

  • Andy

    There may be a lot of naivete in and around the White House but I don't believe it is fair to call Obama naive. The developments in Egypt are quite likely exactly what he hoped for in his heart. A global Caliphate.

  • joe get

    I didn't bother reading the article, because I know it won't tell me anything I didn't know when it first kicked off in North Africa. The most predictable outcome since night followed day for the first time…

  • Drakken

    Well you have to give Obummer and Clinton some credit, they have pushed the MB agenda since day one and now the useless idiots of the left with have to live and fight this mess, I hope Israel takes back the Sinai and pushes that rats nest called Gaza into the sea and calls it a day.

  • wallacea2a

    Anyone who would believe "A similar blindness to reality lies behind the invitation to Morsi to visit the White House in September . . . " is seriously behind the times. This is not blindness except in the sense of a willing blindness. This is quite intentional as many other so-called casualties in the Middle East have been over the past 3-4 years. Only to be expected from a Muslim leadership.

  • jemaasjr

    The important similarity between Hitler and Morsi is extra legal violence. Hitler had the SS and Morsi has the Muslim Brotherhood. The rest is fluff. What made Hitler dangerous after he came to power was his grand designs. What makes Morsi dangerous is the grand designs of his Islamic followers. Hitler would not sit on a gain and Morsi very likely can not.

  • Mamala

    It's all by design. No surprise to THIS Administration.

  • A.R Momen

    There is a dialectic dilemma at the Western democratic countries ,now if some people used your democratic (successful) machinery to choose their governors ,and the executive , ,judicial and legislative authorities through transparent democratic process ,and it happened to be an Islamic spiritually rooted system ;Why should you feel panic ?Aren't you the tyrants who think all other people should follow the traces of their feet?

  • A.R Momen

    There is a dialectic dilemma at the Western democratic countries ,now if some people used your democratic (successful) mechanism to choose their governors ,and the executive , ,judicial and legislative authorities through transparent democratic process ,and it happened to be an Islamic spiritually rooted system ;Why should you feel panic ?Aren't you the tyrants who think all other people should follow the traces of their feet? and please be brave an don't omit this comment again ,